I have often written about the importance of maintaining one’s sense of self by understanding and maintaining your authenticity. My lesson came early in life as I immigrated to New York from Johannesburg, South Africa with a young family. Upon arrival, I realized that culturally, I was quite at ease. But my accent was, and continues to be, a dead giveaway. It immediately establishes my authenticity and thus, even if I want to, I cannot retreat into the status quo.
Here are some great pointers from Jeff Hayden on how to be memorable and enjoy the process at the same time:
- Don’t see … Do
Anyone can share opinions about movies, TV or even books. That’s why opinions are quickly forgotten. What you say isn’t interesting; what you do is interesting. Spend your life doing instead of watching.
- Do something unusual
We like to think we’re unique, but roughly speaking we’re all the same, and similar isn’t memorable. Occasionally do something different. Work from a coffee shop one day just to see what you learn about other people… and about yourself. Your goal isn’t to accomplish something worthwhile; the goal is to collect experiences.
- Embark on a worthless mission
Remember when you were young and followed stupid ideas to their illogical conclusions? Do something, just once, that adults no longer do. Pick something it doesn’t make sense to do a certain way and do it that way. You’ll remember it forever—and so will other people.
- Embrace a cause
People care about—and remember—people who care. When you stand for something you stand apart.
- Let other people spread the word
People who brag are not remembered for what they’ve done; they’re remembered for the fact they brag. Do good things and other people will find out. The less you say, the more people remember.
- Get over yourself
Most of the time your professional life is like a hamster wheel of resume padding: You avoid all possibility of failure while maximizing the odds of success in order to ensure your achievement graph climbs up and up and up. Stop trying to seem perfect. Accept your faults.
- Be gracious when you fail
When you do, people will definitely remember you because people who are willing to fail are rare… and because people who display grace and humility, especially in the face of defeat, are incredibly rare.
As women business leaders, we must accept and embrace our uniqueness. No one can afford mediocrity if you are to achieve real success. How have you leveraged your innate abilities and true self to become more successful?